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House Flipping: Expectations vs. Reality

Before diving into the house flipping business, you’ve likely had a glance into the life of a flipper through social media and house flipping shows. If that’s you, chances are you have some expectations of the process that might need to be debunked.

The most common expectations are that flipping is easy, can be done quickly, that it’s a fast way to make money, and that details don’t matter. The reality of each of these is much different. I have some additional advice at the end, let’s get into it.

House Flipping is Easy

While the concept is “easy” the process and success isn’t so easy. Each step in the home buying, flipping, and selling process is involved and can easily go sideways at any time.

Profitable flips are involved, here’s a quick breakdown of the important aspects from beginning to end:

  1. Determining potential and opportunity
  2. Evaluating market conditions
  3. Finding the right lenders
  4. Offering on a property, securing the property
  5. Putting together a team 
  6. Renovating and updating
  7. Photographing and staging
  8. Selling
  9. Doing it all over again

Flipping isn’t easy, but it’s doable! As long as you are aware of the realities, you can do it.

House Flipping is Quick

Another expectation I hear is that flipping a house will be quick. This isn’t necessarily true. It depends on the house and what needs to be done, and usually, a quick flip shows in the results.

When it comes to time investment, it does vary. A good rule of thumb is to expect your flip to be 6 to 12 weeks from buying to selling. If it’s your first flip project, naturally you will take longer and need to be learning a lot on the job. Once you’re a seasoned flipper, it may be a quicker process, but a number of things can pop up you’ll have to address that can add to your timeline. 

House Flipping is a Fast Money-Maker

Going into a flip with the expectation you’re making a lot of money fast isn’t going to help you. Not only are there other ways to make money faster, but your profit and success also depend on a number of factors.

Like anything in life, if you’re in it for the wrong reasons, you probably won’t be happy. If you’re in-house flipping for a quick and easy payout, I would look elsewhere.

For tips to get the most out of your flip, check out this article

House Flipping isn’t Detail Oriented

Details matter! House flipping is more than finding a home, making some changes, and putting it up for sale within a few weeks for a huge profit. Once you get familiar with processes and surround yourself with a solid team, you will have better luck on timeline and profits, but you’ll never look over the details.

Here’s a breakdown of some details you’ll always be thinking about:

  • Location: You’ll want to know all you can about the location you’re buying and selling in. This includes comparable homes, proximity to schools, stores, as well as the less desirable things.
  • Team: When you’re finding contractors, you should dedicate quite a bit of time finding, vetting, and collaborating with them. Spending extra time and noticing the small details can make a huge difference in how smoothly and successful your flip is.
  • Financials: There are a lot of considerations when you’re figuring out funding, what you’re going to offer and eventually list for, deciding on material costs, and more.
  • Renovations vs. Updates: Deciding what you do in your flip requires a lot of thought and weighing the pros and cons. Sometimes an update is enough, while other times an overhaul is in order.

These are just a few areas where attention to detail makes a difference. 

Your Ability to Adapt

The above are the most common incorrect expectations I see. It’s noteworthy to share just how important adaptability is through it all as well.

If you’re ready to take my advice on board and have reassessed your expectations, you’ll need to check- in on your ability to adapt as you go. This is huge because this is different from other ventures, in house flipping you can’t just stop. When things shift or pop up, you need to weather the storm. When things come up or your circumstances change, you’ll be leaning on your ability to adapt whether it be changing your financial plans, tightening your timeline, or whatever else. 


Ready to take that next step when it comes to flipping?  

Here are some resources I’ve put together to help you get the information you need to move forward on creating your flipping life.

Make sure you have the Fixer Upper Checklist, so you know which areas are critical to added value in a home.

If you are interested in learning more about the House Flip Blueprint course, go here!

There are several videos on finding houses, renovations, and funding on YouTube.  Check out your favorite flipping topics and new videos weekly.

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